Images: Gray Kammera Photography
I must admit that I audibly squeed a bit when I saw this DC wedding submission pop in my inbox. Not only did it feature one of my favorite local DC business owners (Teeny Pies) but it was a SURPRISE wedding (well, surprise proposal AND wedding). I mean come on. It doesn’t get much better than this for a local DC wedding blogger. Aaron, the groom, had been secretly planning the wedding celebration for 6 months without Teeny knowing! In one day Teeny was proposed to, surprised by friends & family at an engagement brunch, married at a courthouse and then surprised AGAIN with a wedding party reception with 70 of their closest friends from around the globe. Aaron had even tricked Teeny into baking pies for her own wedding day ;-p
This DC wedding is chock-full of love, smiles, and so many awesome local DC businesses. Just wait until you guys get a load of all the amazing details packed into their wedding day.
From the photographer:
Teeny had no idea that for over 6 months Aaron had been planning all the details, from beautiful locations for every part of the day, to having friends and family travel from all distances, to a variety of wedding dresses supplied by Anthropologie as well as her mother’s wedding dress for her to choose from, to 3D printed rings he created himself – it was absolutely amazing, beautiful, fun, and completely Teeny and Aaron.
Aaron planned the details of what was the proposal and wedding day for over 6 months. He chose their local favorite coffee shop (Big Bear Cafe) conveniently located just around the corner from their home – and an easy place to get Teeny to naturally go to for the surprise engagement breakfast and Boundary Road for post-wedding brunch, made an appointment at Teeny’s favorite hair salon (Fiddleheads because they focus enhancing natural beautiful curls, something Teeny is not in short supply of) for the day of, recruited his sister to pick 5 potential wedding dresses that Teeny could choose from, enlisted friends for help on flowers, had friends and family come to DC from near and far.
Friends and family came from near and far to be part of this day. Most of them thinking they were arriving for an engagement party and enjoying along in the surprise as it turned into a well planned wedding day. A handful of their local close friends were tagged to help in details. One friend dropped by the farmers market for a few handfuls of fresh flowers. Another friend had made an embroidered handkerchief with their names and date sewn on. Aaron’s sister, Leah, brought a slew of wedding dress options, various shoes from strappy heels to chucks , and a selection of jewelry to match. And cleverly, Aaron had placed a fake order for pies from Teeny so she made her own wedding pies.
The story from the bride:
“Aaron and I met at Ithaca College, in pursuit of acting degrees, fame and fortune. We did not fall in love, but we did become stellar friends who stayed in touch in the years following graduation. It wasn’t until we found ourselves in the same city, in the same apartment, several years later that we realized there was a something between us that went a little deeper than the usual best friendship. Fast forward a few more years, and we found ourselves living in D.C. with our newly adopted pup, Ladybird, following our dreams (Aaron creating digital games and apps for kids and me opening my own pie baking business), and contemplating getting engaged sometime within the next year but never making any definite plans. Or so I thought.
One fine Friday, Aaron woke up at 6:45am though we’d agreed to take advantage of both having the day off, and yet the kettle was whistling and he was grinding coffee beans with unwavering determination by 7:00am. With one eye cracked open I begrudgingly accepted a cup of coffee in bed and alternated between sipping and sleeping. I’d just managed to wake up enough to sit up and sip my coffee like an adult when Aaron looked at Lady Bird, who looked back at Aaron and (I swear to god) winked, which Aaron took to mean it was time. To my absolute surprise and delight he came round to my side of the bed, got down on one knee, and asked me to spend my life with him. I said yes!
I spent the next half hour admiring my ring, a family stone handed down from my mom, set in a white gold setting that Aaron designed with the help of Susie Brand, who created the perfect ring for me! Aaron popped a hidden bottle of champagne and we alternated sipping coffee and bubbly, giving Lady Bird only a few celebratory sips until it was time to go meet my parents for breakfast. We rounded the corner to the patio at Big Bear, the cutest coffee shop in all of D.C, and to my great and delighted surprise my parents, Aaron’s parents, my brother, his sister, and few of our bestest friends were peering around the corner, waiting to shout out their congratulations. Leah, our dear D.C. friend and wedding photographer extraordinaire was snapping pictures as I registered the shock of everyone I loved being at breakfast. I was bowled over, accepting hugs from the lot of them and sharing the story of how Lady Bird had learned how to wink, which ultimately led to our engagement.
A few minutes later, Aaron pulled me aside and gave me my two options for the day. The first option was to celebrate. It was a lovely thing, to be engaged, and if I wanted we could spend the whole day toasting the momentous occasion. That option sounded great until he came to the second option, which was to get married that afternoon. I looked at Aaron, who had the beginnings of a mischievous grin on his face and then back at our friends and family who were all peering around the corner, trying in vain to overhear our conversation and said yes! Again.
Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this amazing DC wedding!!
Aaron bundled me up into a huge hug and then hollered to the gang that the ‘Wedding Plan’ was a go, which included dresses, flowers, hair appointments and a date with the courthouse at 1:30pm. I was absolutely flabbergasted as I’d assumed that when I said yes to getting married that day it meant that we would wander down to the courthouse once we got both of our families wrangled. In fact, Aaron had planned the entire day, down to the tiniest detail, over the previous six months and had managed to keep it a secret from me the whole while.
I was ushered back to our apartment to have a ‘say yes to the dress’ moment. Aaron’s sister (whose wardrobe I often just stand back and admire while lamenting my own butter and flour covered existence) had brought six different dresses for me to try on, including my mom’s own wedding dress. The third dress was a sweet lace dress from Anthropologie, that hit me at the knee and had a stunning peephole detail in the back. It was, without question, THE ONE, and when paired with pristine white converse sneakers it was the perfect combination of sweet, gorgeous, and totally me.
Once the dress was chosen my little gaggle of ladies escorted me to get my wedding hair done at Fiddleheads Salon where my hairdresser couldn’t get over the fact that my hair was the ideal amount of un-showered-ness, which apparently made it perfect for styling. (for the first time in my life, my unwillingness to shower made everyone happy) Sporting a high, curly bun with a few braids thrown in for good measure, I got to put my wedding dress back on, lace up my chucks and see just how handsome my husband-to-be was in his dashing suit and matching converse.
After pictures in the park and a few bouts of spontaneous shoulder dancing we were ushered into our waiting cars and whisked down to the D.C. courthouse.
Our little wedding party traipsed through the metal detectors and headed up to the top floor where we had a lull in the day as we waited for the justice of the peace to show up. It was a much needed moment to take a deep breath before the next big step of the day, mentally revel in the fact that we’d gone from proposal to wedding in less than five hours, and (when someone put on Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel”) dance with my husband-to-be.
The tiniest Justice of the Peace appeared and Aaron and I were married as we slipped neon green wedding bands (courtesy of Aaron’s 3-D printer) onto our waiting fourth fingers and kissed for the first time as husband and wife.
From there is was off to a boozy brunch, at Boundary Road, where our friends and family offered toasts filled with congratulations, advice, and love with a bit of hilarity thrown in for good measure.
The events of the day had been a stunning surprise that seemed to get better and better with each moment. For me, it was the perfect way to marry best friend. Aaron had turned our wedding into an adventure that was infused with such joy, life, family and love that I couldn’t help but wiggle my toes in anticipation of what the rest of our life would be. I imagine a life where we laugh a lot, push each other to follow our dreams, and always chase adventure.”
Best DC wedding ever? You bet your ass this was.
Photographer: Gray Kammera Photography | Hair Salon: Fiddleheads | Engagement Brunch Venue: Big Bear Cafe | Dress: Anthropologie | Flowers: Farmers Market | Wedding Reception Venue: Boundary Road | Rings: 3D Printed by the Groom | Wedding Pies: Teeny Pies (of course!)